Follow the USA Endurance Team on the Road to the WEG

Mark Dial at the World Equestrian Championships in Slovakia

Mark Dial at the World Equestrian Championships in Slovakia Credit: Pamela Burton

7 August 2018, USA ~ Horsereporter interviewed US Endurance Chef d’Equipe, Mark Dial, with added comments by the US Equestrian Marketing on members of the USA Endurance Squad and their qualifications. We also learned some details on how to watch the Endurance Venue on 12 September 2018.





Can you share with Horsereporter details about the four main riders chosen for the USA Endurance Squad?

Danielle Crouse (Lexington, Ohio) and AM Mysterious Mopsa

DanielleCrouse with AM_Mysterious Mopsa

DanielleCrouse with AM Mysterious Mopsa Credit: Becky Pearman Photography



Wendy MacCoubrey’s 11-year-old Arabian mare
Earned a top-five at the 2005 Pan American Games in Pinamar, Argentina
Earned a team top-ten at the 1997 European Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy
Placed second at the 2017 FITS CEI3* with AM Mysterious Mopsa
In the last three years, successfully completed seven of the ten races she entered with a top-four placing and above





Gwen Hall (Woodland Park, Colo.) and SizeDoesntMatter


Gwen Hall

Gwen Hall – Credit Paschal Karl, Karl Creations

Gwen Hall (Woodland Park, Colo.)and SizeDoesntMatter and her 12-year-old Arabian gelding
Since 2013, she and SizeDoesntMatter have completed 11 of the 13 races they have entered, always finishing in the top five
Placed first in the 2018 Fire Up Ridgecrest CEI2* on SizeDoesntMatter
Placed first in the 2017 Ft. Howes CEI2* on SizeDoesntMatter
Placed first in the 2017 Lone Star Express CEI1* on SizeDoesntMatter


Kelsey Russell (Williston, Fla.) and Fireman Gold

Kelsey Russell

Kelsey Russell, Credit: Taylor Pence/US Equestrian

Kelsey Russell (Williston, Fla.) and Fireman Gold
Wendy MacCoubrey and Valerie Kanavy’s eight-year-old Arabian gelding
Selected for the U.S. Endurance Team for the 2014 FEI Alltech® World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France
Two top-ten finishes at the FEI Junior and Young Rider Endurance World Championships (2011, 2013)
Won a team and individual gold medal at the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior and young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, riding My Wild Irish Gold
Finished in the top twenty at the CEI2* Test Event for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Fireman Gold
Won three, the five top-five finishes in CEI3* events in 2017 and 2018 on Fireman Gold


Rae Shumate-Tysor (Cumming, Ga.) and DM Michaelangelo



Rae Shumate Tysor

Rae Shumate Tysor Credit: Becky Pearman Photography

Rae Shumate-Tysor (Cumming, Ga.) and DM Michaelangelo
her nine-year-old Arabian gelding
Since 2013, she and DM Michaelangelo have 18 top-five finishes in races
Three wins in CEI1* and CEI2* races in 2018 with DM Michaelangelo
Second in the 2018 Broxton Bridge CEI3* race with DM Michaelangelo

How many years have you been involved with International Endurance and in what countries?

The first major international competition I went to was in 1997. This was the Pan American Championships in Canada. Over the years, I have been able lucky enough to travel to the Middle East, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Costa Rica, and Slovakia, just to name a few.

Now that the U.S. Endurance Squad is chosen, can you tell us what is next? Will there be joint training sessions in August, and when do you gather together in North Carolina?

We want the athletes to prepare for the Games in a manner that they feel comfortable and which will maximize their performance while communicating with us the good and bad that may come up. The team vets, myself, or the selectors, will be visiting with the athletes at their home base at least once during the month of August. The home visits give us a chance to see how their training is coming along and if any tweaks need to be made. They also give Team Staff the opportunity to provide support for ongoing WEG preparation and continued veterinary care.

The team will be gathering for their training camp the week before WEG in Aiken, SC. During training camp, the athletes will get to work with a physio, and the horses will continue to be monitored by the team vets. We will be doing some team building exercises, and light work outs will also be done. Training camp gives us the ability to continue growing the athletes’ confidence in themselves and the team as a whole.

Will the horses and riders be staying offsite near the venue and when do they come into the venue stables?

All endurance horses taking part in WEG are required to arrive onsite either September 7 or September 8. The U.S. Squad is scheduled to arrive on September 8. Right now, we believe the athletes will be staying close to the venue and we will have grooms staying onsite.

Is the Endurance Village easily accessible from the Tryon center?

The main Endurance Vet-In and Gates will be at the Tryon Center, and will share the Gate location with the Driving venue taking place the next week.

How is the endurance track laid out/ how many loops? What type of trails are used for the tracks, and is it technical in places? Who designed the endurance trails for the venue?

Susan Phillips designed the course which is laid out in five loops. We are fortunate to have an equestrian driven community and there are many trails that have been used for the course. The terrain will travel through forest, take advantage of local hilly terrain and the local rivers and include a few roads.

Are there viewing areas along the trail for the public or is it only at the main vetting area?

Because much of the trail is on private lands, the only viewing area for the public will be at
the main Vet Gate.

Will there be a Spectator’a Guide to Endurance on the www.Tryon2018 website?

Yes, this will be up online shortly.

Will the USA need any volunteers to help them? If so, whom do they contact?

Volunteers for WEG are coordinated through the organizing committee. Volunteer inquires can be made here:

What else would you like the public to know about the 2018 Endurance Squad?

We are fortunate to have a mixture of seasoned athletes and athletes new to this level of competition. Each athlete brings their own unique perspective on how to prepare for WEG and this type of terrain, which creates a balanced team that can learn from each other. Our priority is a team completion and we know this team will be well prepared. It takes a village to prepare a team for a Championship and the U.S. team staff, the athletes, owners, and their support staff are putting in countless hours to help prepare for a successful outcome.

~Thank you. We look forward to following the Endurance event and very best of luck –  Pamela Burton